Live: White Lies

The Corn Exchange, Brighton

Monday 7 February 2011

While the intimate surroundings of the Corn Exchange complimented White Lies’ deathly disco feel like a black handkerchief to their dark demeanour, there was no escaping the feeling that the band may be in danger of stagnating under the weight of their musical rigidity.

When White Lies are good, they can soar. Harry McVeigh’s voice was more impressive than in previous shows, sounding as if he should be stalking indie dancefloors for willing victims – if only the name ‘Vampire Weekend’ weren’t already taken. Death drew a fantastic reaction from the crowd, and To Lose My Life got the audience bouncing, but these moments were too few and far between.

There’s no particular problem with ‘Ritual’ sounding similar to debut album ‘To Lose My Life…’, but when a large proportion of the songs are played together live, there is little change in direction. There was a definite lull halfway through which lost the band momentum, suggesting they may not have the required material for a full-length slot just yet.

Farewell to the Fairground was a perfect example; the song is an undoubted crowd-pleaser with a winning call-and-response, but by being placed low down the setlist, it felt like an opportunity wasted, when the song could have joyously closed the set.

If White Lies can harness their obvious talents, then success is right there for the taking. However, they need a little more variety and a stronger sense of urgency about them if they are to keep fans guessing.


This review appeared in The Argus on Thursday February 10, 2011, with the tickets provided by The Argus.

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